Boot camp workouts usually include some form of calisthenics.
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Boot camp workouts are intense, calorie-blasting workouts that combine overall fitness, cardio, strength and endurance into one convenient class, making it easy to fit in the 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardio recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Whether you're looking to lose weight or simply get more fit, you'll likely a boot camp-style workout plan to suit your goals.
Boot Camp Explained
Boot camp workouts incorporate the three fundamentals of cardio, agility and strength. The specific workouts vary from class to class and instructor to instructor, but in general, they provide a mix of calisthenics such as jumping jacks and pushups, military-style drills and running sprints. Some might also incorporate martial arts. Boot camp workouts are a type of high-intensity interval training, with bursts of high-intensity cardio interspersed with strength training and more moderate exercises.
Benefits of Boot Camp
Boot camp workouts provide a type of circuit training that more efficiently works muscles throughout the whole body, according to Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., in "Women's Health" magazine. This style of workout usually doesn't involve a lot of equipment or complicated exercises, which allows them to be done anywhere. For this reason, many boot camp workout classes take place outdoors in the fresh air, which has been shown to reduce tension, according to "Women's Health." The group aspect of boot camp also promotes camaraderie among classmates, helping to keep you both motivated and accountable.
When designing your own boot camp style workout, include basic, military-style calisthenics such as squats, pushups, squat thrusts, burpees, jumping jacks and jumping rope. Combine these with moderate-intensity endurance exercises such as brisk walking, jogging or hiking, as well as strengthening and toning exercises such as planks, crunches, lunges and dumbbell exercises. The key is to aim for a variety of exercises that will target each of the major muscle groups, and to balance these with bursts of intense cardio as well as short periods of recovery.
Complete the Circuits
In boot camp workouts, exercises are organized into circuits -- groups of three or more exercises. In a typical circuit, you might do 25 reps of each exercise, and then repeat the entire circuit two or three times before moving on to the next circuit. For example, after a five-minute jog or brisk walk to warm up, you would tackle the first circuit which includes 20 squats, 10 pushups and 50 jumping jacks. After repeating that circuit three times, you would move on to the second circuit, which might include lunges, squat thrusts and crunches. Aim for three different circuits in your workout, followed by a cool-down and stretch. Each week, aim to increase the intensity by adding reps or incorporating more challenging exercises.